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Leather care question

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  • Leather care question

    Hope this is the correct forum.

    I have an old and cheap Miller Harness bridle that is fifteen or so years old. It was made in India, but the leather was fairly decent until recently. Since I haven't been riding lately, the bridle simply sat in my spare room which is heated and cooled. I pulled it out today and was shocked at how dry it's become. It's really stiff and nasty. The last time I cleaned it, it was also treated with Ko-Cho-line--the red stuff.

    I've just cleaned it and oiled it with Lexol--all but the reins. They are laced, and I've always made it a point to make sure that whatever I'm using gets under all the laces, front and back. But this bridle is so dry that I have a feeling that I'm going to be oiling it several times over the next month and I'm dreading having to work the oil under every single lace.

    Is it okay to just pour a bunch of Lexol into a pan and let all the bridle parts soak overnight?
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire

  • #2
    I wouldn't soak leather. Instead, I'd use a cream conditioner (I like Effax in the brown tub for reviving any and all manners of leather).

    Cream conditioner should get under the leather pretty well if you just smear it on with a cloth, since it stays where it's put. A liberal coating, leave for overnight, wipe off the excess should do it and you'll only have to do it once.

    I think lexol is pretty useless for reviving dry leather. It's too thin.
    Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
    you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.


    • #3
      I agree, I do not like to soak leather. I have had success with olive oil on my cheapie leather goods (and often get compliments about my "nice" tack - which is all cheap!)
      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


      • Original Poster

        My standard for my good leather is Stubben's Hamanol which I was hoping not use because it's so darned expensive and I'm almost out. But with that, I can get a reasonable amount under each lace with a toothpick.

        Guess it's gonna be Hamanol after all. Drat!
        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
        Thread killer Extraordinaire


        • #5
          Originally posted by vineyridge View Post

          Guess it's gonna be Hamanol after all. Drat!
          If it only didn't smell so awful.


          • #6
            Originally posted by otisrider View Post
            If it only didn't smell so awful.
            I think it smells like BBQ, and I kind of like that smell!
            RIP my beautiful Lola, ????–August 29, 2014


            • #7
              I like Passier Lederbalsam for stuff like this. I'll sit in front of the TV and work it in with my hands. The warmth helps. It smells nice


              • #8
                I would second use of Effax (Leder Combi in the brown jar)- I used it on a cheap leather Mexican headstall I have from the mid-60s that was very dry and brittle (and cheap leather to start with) about 6 months ago. Said headstall has sat unused since then on horn of a saddle in basement and still looks and feels great.

                Having said that- I may be mis-remembering 'which' of the creams I used, I also use Skidmore's leather cream on much of my western tack and like it, too.

                Haven't used Lexol in ages come to think of it.


                • #9
                  You can't go wrong with Flexalan; though I don't know if it's available in your area.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                    I like Passier Lederbalsam for stuff like this. I'll sit in front of the TV and work it in with my hands. The warmth helps. It smells nice
                    This is my favorite stuff for conditioning tack. It came highly recommended by a local saddle maker too (who also said a lot of the leather care products on the market do more harm than good!).


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                      I like Passier Lederbalsam for stuff like this. I'll sit in front of the TV and work it in with my hands. The warmth helps. It smells nice

                      Not that you can di it now but Ive put a piece of tack in the sunshine just for a minute to warm then rubbed in, seems to help it go in better.
                      “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


                      • #12
                        If I had that bridle, I would give it a good application of neatsfoot oil, and then another if it soaks up too fast. After waiting overnight, I would apply a nice slick of glycerine bar soap. Use it, clean with a damp cloth and reapply the glycerine soap. If it seems to need somehing more, give some more neatsfoot followed by the glycerine soap. Classic and gives just the results I like, supple with a soft sheen.
                        Mon Ogon (Mo) and Those Wer the Days (Derby)


                        • #13
                          This wonderful topic reminds me of something I remember from the 1960's and wish I could find it again, perhaps it has a different name now? There was a round jar (white) of a multi-purpose leather cleaner and conditioner, called Thoro-chem. Does anyone remember that stuff? It smelled great!
                          RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.